FCC Approves GCI’s Purchase Of 3 TV Stations

The Federal Communications Commission has approved GCI’s purchase of  Anchorage  television station KTVA.

The approval was made public Wednesday.

GCI Vice President David Morris says the FCC found the purchase to be in the public’s interest.

“We’ve waited for this order for about 11 months,” Morris said. “We’ve invested approximately $20 million into a state-of-the-art facility, and we will start preparing for our first newscast – as yet to be determined when that is.”

The approval provides for the transfer multiple television licenses, two of which will be used for GCI subsidiaries.

“We’re in the process of purchasing a full-power station – which is KTVA in Anchorage – and then two low-power stations – one located in Juneau and one located in Sitka. And, so, they have difference licenses and that’s what the FCC approved in this order. We still need to go through the financial closing of the entities, but we expect that to occur over the next several days.”

The federal commissioners denied objections to the sale filed by Alaska Broadcasters, Fireweed Communications and Northern Lights Media.

Alaska Broadcasters had alleged that GCI “lacks journalistic integrity” and would “distort” the news. However, the FCC decision notes that, “The allegations regarding journalistic independence are speculative and based on hearsay, but, even if true, would be insufficient to make out a prima facie showing that grant of the Applications would be inconsistent with the public interest.”